Archaeological Remote Sensing; some Community Engagement in Ireland
Authors: Kevin Barton and Daniel Curley
Within local communities there are a number of motivations that can create an interest in initiating an archaeological remote sensing project that can lead to community gain. There are a number of factors that may affect the ability of a particular community to carry out a project. These include: the availability of low cost acquisition equipment and open source processing and visualization software; the availability of training and experience in data acquisition, processing, interpretation and in the subsequent public presentation of results. Work within communities has to be sensitive to both the initial motivations and potential limiting factors. We review short case histories of work-in-progress involving the introduction, development and use of aerial and groundbased remote sensing technologies by a primary and a secondary school, two adult heritage groups and a community museum. Most projects have not involved formal classroom-style tuition; the delivery mode being ‘learning while doing’.
DIY Platform for Innovative Small Museum Experiences
Authors: Licia Calvi and Arnold P.O.S. Vermeeren
In this paper, we introduce a unique approach to designing museum experiences for small museums. This approach entails methods for end users and stakeholders to collaboratively design experiences without the direct involvement of design professionals, and a platform for embodying the required design knowledge to do so.
Involving the Museum Visitor Community in Designing Exhibits
Authors: Loraine Clarke, Emma Nicol
Museum and other cultural heritage practice increasingly recognizes the value and importance of involving local communities in the design and delivery of the cultural services they access. Commonly, where exhibits are concerned, museums and other organisations will make use of expert panels drawn from particular demographics to evaluate exhibits in structured, moderated sessions. This paper considers how the design and evaluation might be conducted in a more integrated participatory fashion and presents some experiences of protoyping sessions conducted on the museum floor. Our findings lead us to argue for more consideration of the value of co-design workshops with visitors on the museum or gallery floor.
Citizen Science and Digital Cultural Heritage: Potential for Wider Engagement with the General Public
Authors: Milena Dobreva, Edel Jennings, Anna Devreni-Koutsouki.
In this paper, we explore citizen science as a method for user engagement. We take as a starting point the user engagement model of O’Brien and Toms and explore citizen science within the user engagement paradigm, being motivated mainly by the potential for a wider uptake in the digital cultural heritage domain. We concentrate on the identification of user needs; which could aid the planning of citizen science initiatives and their implementation. Looking at typical activities identified so far in research on citizen science and crowdsourcing, we illustrate that these typical activities need further refinement to link them to the typical user engagement stages. Analyzing user engagement and citizen science together would be of benefit for strengthening citizen science projects and providing more detailed guidance for involved stakeholders. We discuss how this is being done within a pilot on placenames in rural Ireland currently being implemented within the Civic Epistemologies project. This pilot represents a novel experiment in bridging an engagement model with a practical citizen science activity in the digital cultural heritage domain.
Indigenous Knowledge through Storytelling and Personas: Technologies, Methods, and Challenges
Authors: Daniel G. Cabrero, Heike Winschiers-Theophilus
This paper presents our latest intervention in regards to the ongoing digitalization of cultural heritage of the OvaHimba indigenous communities in the northern Namibia. It describes the communicative and technical processes undertaken in a double-session that occurred during two days in March 2015, as part of the development, design and future implementation of an Indigenous Knowledge (IK) Crowdsourcing Management System that aims to provide and empower elder pastoral OvaHimba with technological tools to gather, store, curate and preserve traditional knowledge for future generations. The paper hence pronounces the aims of the project regarding the technologies intended for deployment, their current development and design, and the methods arranged in these sessions so as to progress in the endeavours of a multidisciplinary team of researchers and the OvaHimba community members in two villages. It also highlights the initial take-on, engagement, and involvement of participants in these communities, as well as the challenges, strengths, and projections of future that are thus-far unfilled.
Local Heritage as Participatory Digital Culture: The Rise and Fall of “Anglesey: A Bridge Through Time” Website
Authors: Susanne Skubik Intriligator, Eben Muse
This paper describes a PhD research project that applies models of participatory online cultures to local heritage tourism, in partnership with local agencies and the local authority. Funded by a public-private EU scheme, the researcher designed a 25,000- word “virtual museum” to draw more visitors to lesser known heritage sites on Anglesey, one of the UK’s poorest counties. Inspired by other online participatory heritage communities, the website is a hybrid of new and old. It augments expert-vetted interpretation with lively narrative and people-centred photos, incorporating Web 2.0 features like photo-sharing, user comments, and social media campaigns — to be monitored and updated by a dedicated team of vetted volunteers in a model of “distributed curation” that would insure sustainability without draining paid staff time. Initial testing demonstrated the website’s efficacy; it outperformed the council’s website on user engagement and brand personality scales, plus it increased intent to visit. Due to legal concerns over user-generated content, however, on handover to the local authority for long-term hosting, access to the website’s backend and analytics were disallowed to the researcher and volunteers, rendering updates and complete analysis impossible. The project reveals that on the local level, especially in rural or conservative areas, designers of digital media for participatory heritage still face significant challenges on issues of multivocality, authority, and control.
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Which interactions to foster the social dimension of museum visit?
Authors: Yvan Peter, Patricia Plénacoste
Collaboration and social dimension are more and more recognised as a fundamental dimension of museum visits. In this article we review existing works to support social interactions between visitors and we present our proposals to foster group discussion during visits. This kind of support can provide a basis for the development of visitor communities around these social interactions.
Artcasting and ARTIST ROOMS on Tour: Using mobilities-informed methods to support new approaches to arts evaluation
Authors: Jen Ross, Claire Sowton, Jeremy Knox, Chris Speed
The artcasting project will develop, test and assess a new digital and mobile form of evaluation of arts-based engagement, in the context of ARTIST ROOMS On Tour exhibition. The goals of the project are to understand how mobilities approaches can enrich arts evaluation; to design, develop and pilot the artcasting platform; to generate a new approach to evaluation that can be built upon in the future; and to influence ARTIST ROOMS evaluation practice. This paper introduces artcasting, describes the conceptual foundations of the project, and outlines its contribution to the development of new conversations and innovative approaches to evaluating cultural heritage engagement.
Online Maker Communities: Craft and Engagement with Cultural Heritage
Authors: Amalia Sabiescu, Martin Woolley, Catherine Cummings, Janine Prins
This paper examines the spaces of engagement with cultural heritage afforded by online maker communities. We argue that engagements with heritage in maker spaces, online and offline, are influenced by a strong craft ethos, which is one of the main reasons why these communities emerge and is for many members the main motivation to join and contribute. This ethos contributes to the outline and basic mechanisms by which communities are shaped, and contributes to configuring hubs of learning and exchange which recall the traditional craft guilds of the past, whilst featuring as well contemporary attributes that are unique for the digital era. Involvement in ‘virtual guilds’ shapes distinctive engagements with craft-related cultural heritage in online spaces and stimulates offline engagements that move dynamically between transmission and creative appropriation in new craft, art or design products.
Challenging Political Agendas through Indigenous Media: Hawai’i and Cultural Values
Authors: Susan Shay
Technology has become a transformative medium for the transmission of information within the indigenous, postcolonial Native Hawaiian land control movement. The movement has harnessed the power of the Internet to convey traditional knowledge and heritage values, and to disseminate information on Native Hawaiian political movements for self-determination and land control of heritage sites. Previous efforts to develop coordinated and effective movements were impacted by geographic distances in this Pacific Island state. The volcanic island landscapes posed difficulties in the dissemination of information and the ability of communities to respond in a timely manner to threats to heritage sites. However, with the introduction of advanced communication networks and technologies these difficulties have been overcome. Communication among community members is now instantaneous as technological developments, such as cell phones, computers and other personal technologies have become the primary means of communication. Information for community involvement in Native Hawaiian land control efforts to encourage, protect and preserve threatened heritage sites and practices now reaches not only the Native Hawaiian community on the eight major islands of Hawai’i, but also extends to Hawaiian diaspora enclaves within the continental United States, and indigenous communities throughout the world. Local concerns are now global discussions, with potential political impacts on Native Hawaiian heritage issues from communities of interest throughout the world.
An Exploratory Study of Sensemaking of Historical Information
Authors: Tom Wrigglesworth, Leon Watts
There are many ways of documenting and making sense of the past. Contemporary museums are attempting to facilitate these processes by creating online as well as in-museum experiences for visitors, with a growing interest in gathering additional ’crowdsourced’ historical information in the process. Online and in-museum visitor experiences are different but could reflect an engagement with the past in complementary ways, depending on how visitors make sense of them. We report an exploratory study of sensemaking by museum visitors as they encountered a set of digital historical images in a military museum. Based on Dervin’s approach to sense making, the images were accompanied by three neutral verbal prompts to encourage thinking about their individual meaning. Visitors were able to spontaneously suggest a wide range of terms to describe their interest in each image but the variety was notably greater when the first in the set was of an individual airman in a state of repose, rather than of a group of personnel in a social setting. Our study raises a number of questions about the relationship between the navigation of museum visitors through digital artefacts and the design of support for their journeys. We argue that anchoring an experience on a direct relationship with a personal image could have particular significance for sensemaking processes that could engage visitors with a more nuanced understanding of the past.